Benefits of going alcohol-free
Ok, first things first – disclaimer alert – I am not a medical practitioner and cannot offer medical advice, the article below has been written as a helpful guide using its information from authoritative sites around alcoholism and its effects. That said I myself have at times given up alcohol for a considerable stretch and a few of my friends are teetotallers and relayed me with first-hand experiences of giving up booze.
The fact that almost 8 million Brits are partaking in Dry January means there is interest in giving up alcohol. Why are so many people looking to give up the booze? – here are some reasons you may be aware a) alcohol is a toxin on the body, killing vital microorganisms b) alcohol is highly addictive, and it can be incredibly hard to recover from c) according to the world health organisation an estimated 40,000 people a year in the UK die from alcohol consumption; here’s a ‘sobering’ fact alcohol is linked to seven different types of cancer including bowel, breast and liver cancer.
What are the main health benefits of reducing alcohol consumption?
Ok, enough with the scares. We can see alcohol can be damaging … so what would the short and medium-term benefits look like if you were to reduce and stop your consumption of alcohol.
1) Your appearance
When you give up booze you should see a vast improvement when it comes to your physical appearance. Why is that you ask? Well, when you drink booze the levels of anti-diuretic hormones fall resulting in less hydrated skin. So stopping drinking will give your skin a supple and youthful look. In addition, drinking can have a negative impact on your sleep cycle. Although it can be found to knock you out quicker alcohol will disrupt the REM of sleep meaning you feel tired the next day and you’ll certainly look it too.
Finally, if you didn’t already know alcohol is very fattening and a pint of beer or a large glass of wine could have the same calorie number as a slice of pizza or a big bowl of ice cream so cutting back on booze should help you keep those extra pounds off.
2) Your Energy
Giving up drinking will have a very quick impact on your mood. As per the above, giving up booze will help with sleep resulting in more energy and increased productivity for the day ahead. Of course, removing the dreaded hangover (ie tiredness/ headaches) can only be a good thing right? It has also been found that heavy drinking can interfere with key chemicals in the brain that helps to regulate your mood. Altering and messing with this process can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression so stopping this happening can only be a positive thing to managing stress levels.
3) Your Biology
Well for starters we know that the liver has to work extremely hard when there is high consumption of booze. By cutting out alcohol you can reduce potential liver ‘stiffness’ (an early sign of liver disease).
Giving up drinking is also great for those with high blood pressure. Research has shown that just a month into abstaining from alcohol can help lower both heart rate as well as blood pressure. Not only that, but cholesterol levels should also begin to decrease too.
Finally, we all know that having a strong immune system is important to fight off all those viruses out there but did you know that drinking alcohol suppresses our immune system. So guess what … going alcohol-free will help bring your immune system back up and running!
Are alcohol-free drinks any good?
So once you’ve given up the booze what are you going to drink? Well, another positive is that the quality of alcohol-free drinks has improved exponentially over the years. If, like me, you’re someone who drinks occasionally as you like the taste of it but are fed up with the hangovers, mood swings and extra pounds it puts on it then check out some of the great non-alcoholic products on offer. Sure, be skeptical but I would urge you to try some of the top reviewed alcohol-free beers, spirits, cocktails I’ve reviewed, and then let me know things haven’t improved.
Finally, if you are looking for further advice on giving up alcohol then check out these great resources. They are there to help and are crammed full of interesting techniques and support.
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